Levante v Helsingborgs preview

Levante coach Juan Ignacio Martinez insists La Liga survival comes above the Europa League in his priorities.

Last Updated: 19/09/12 at 21:13   

Martinez: Puts survival ahead of Europe

Martinez: Puts survival ahead of Europe

Levante qualified for their first UEFA club competition after finishing sixth in La Liga last season, and after beating Motherwell home and away in the Europa League play-offs, they begin their group campaign on Thursday with a home match against Swedish champions Helsingborg.

For a side who as recently as 2010 were playing second division football in Spain, retaining their top-flight status this season remains Levante's primary goal, but that does not mean they have little interest in the Europa League.

Coach Martinez, whose side are currently 14th in the table with four points from four games, said today: "We want to enjoy this competition without going overboard, our real goal is to continue being in the Primera next season."

Regarding Thursday's match against Helsingborg, Martinez added: "They are going to make it difficult for us, but we will try to get the three points and have a party for the first European game in front of our fans."

Home-grown defender Juanfran Garcia added: "It's a special game for us but imagine what it's like for the fans. They are experiencing an unforgettable time, the club is in good health and we can now reflect back on the bad times that this club and its fans have had."

Helsingborg make the trip to Spain having finally got back to winning ways following a poor run recently.

They suffered five successive defeats, losing three times in the Allsvenskan and twice to Celtic in the Champions League play-offs, but bounced back in style at the weekend with a 4-0 mauling of GIF Sundsvall.

All four goals came in a 24-minute spell in the second half with Nikola Djurdjic netting a hat-trick as Helsingborg climbed up to fifth spot in the standings, 10 points behind the leaders.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Europa League Fixtures

Thursday, 24 April 2014
20:05
Benfica v Juventus  
Sevilla v Valencia  
Thursday, 01 May 2014
Juventus v Benfica  
Valencia v Sevilla  

Footer 365

Premier League: Everton's strong mentality key for Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez believes Everton's strong mentality could be a crucial factor in the battle for fourth place.

Luton Town promoted to Football League after winning Conference Premier title

Luton Town have won promotion from the Conference Premier - ending a five-year absence from the Football League.

Premier League: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce frustrated to lose lead at Arsenal

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his frustration at his side's inability to hold their lead in the loss at Arsenal.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property